Helen Keller an activist for change

Helen Keller was a human, born like the rest of us with the ability to function properly. It wasn't until she was 19 months she encounter scarlet fever which had the side effect of eternally losing her senses of sight and hearing. Helen Keller was an activist for change because she didn't want anyone who suffers from her condition to feel the way she felt for a long time. For a while, she felt that she didn't have a purpose in the world, but she strived to overcome her constant tantrums from feeling hopeless. It was very difficult for her as a child because she would constantly walk into the wall or objects. She didn't know how to communicate and breaking down was the only way she knew. Luckily, one day her family, even though they were not that fortunate, contacted Alexander Bell to ask for advice. Bell suggested that she would receive her education from the Perkins Institute for the Blind. While Keller received an education from the institute, she was introduced to Anne Sullivan who eventually was a lady who never left her side because she had become Keller's guidance. As Keller received helped, she majored with honors. Being a catalyst for change meant that she took the initiative to speak to the world about individuals who were suffering from the same disabilities as her.

Characteristics of my Leader: She is very courageous and persistent. In my opinion, I think that she was very successful because she didn't encounter many negativity because people had to tell her what was happening around her and I'm pretty sure they did not tell her everything. Some character traits that my leader maintains are hard working and dedication.

Helen Keller was very active throughout the years of ... The outcome of her success was that public schools required their students to read her autobiographies. Some obstacles she faced were financial ones because she asked Congress for financial assistance to

Early Life

Helen Keller was the first of two daughters born to Arthur H. Keller and Katherine Adams Keller. She also had two older stepbrothers. Keller's father had proudly served as an officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The family was not particularly wealthy and earned income from their cotton plantation. Later, Arthur became the editor of a weekly local newspaper, the North Alabamian.

Keller was born with her senses of sight and hearing, and started speaking when she was just 6 months old. She started walking at the age of 1.

Loss of Sight and Hearing

In 1882, however, Keller contracted an illness—called "brain fever" by the family doctor—that produced a high body temperature. The true nature of the illness remains a mystery today, though some experts believe it might have been scarlet fever or meningitis. Within a few days after the fever broke, Keller's mother noticed that her daughter didn't show any reaction when the dinner bell was rung, or when a hand was waved in front of her face. Keller had lost both her sight and hearing. She was just 19 months old.

As Keller grew into childhood, she developed a limited method of communication with her companion, Martha Washington, the young daughter of the family cook. The two had created a type of sign language, and by the time Keller was 7, they had invented more than 60 signs to communicate with each other. But Keller had become very wild and unruly during this time. She would kick and scream when angry, and giggle uncontrollably when happy. She tormented Martha and inflicted raging tantrums on her parents. Many family relatives felt she should be institutionalized.

Educator Anne Sullivan

Looking for answers and inspiration, in 1886, Keller's mother came across a travelogue by Charles Dickens, American Notes. She read of the successful education of another deaf and blind child, Laura Bridgman, and soon dispatched Keller and her father to Baltimore, Maryland to see specialist Dr. J. Julian Chisolm. After examining Keller, Chisolm recommended that she see Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, who was working with deaf children at the time. Bell met with Keller and her parents, and suggested that they travel to the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston, Massachusetts. There, the family met with the school's director, Michael Anaganos. He suggested Helen work with one of the institute's most recent graduates, Anne Sullivan. And so began a 49-year relationship between teacher and pupil.

Sullivan was able to understand the fear, loneliness, and frustration that Helen felt in her tiny isolated world of silence and darkness. This understanding allowed Sullivan to do what others had failed to do for Helen: empathize with her student without letting the latter to get away with whatever the latter wished to do. This resolute teacher was finally rewarded for her efforts with an extremely eager student, who demonstrated a thirst for knowledge once the barrier formed by her handicaps that isolated her from the outside gradually started to crumble because of the diligence of Annie Sullivan. Sullivan was not only Helen Keller’s teacher, mentor, friend, and role model, but she was also a mother figure, whose nurturing and care allowed a lost and lonely child to grow and mature into a selfless and compassionate adult, who followed in her mentor’s footsteps to work for the well-being of the blind and deaf, as well as other unfortunate people.

On April 5, 1887 Helen Keller learned about the word "water". It was difficult to teach Keller how to communicate and understand what people were trying to tell her. One day her mentor Sullivan, took her to a faucet where she learned the word "water" by simply running the water through her hand and from there, Sullivan created symbols with her hands onto Kellers palms. Keller then advanced from that point, because she learned the alphabet then learned how to read in Braille. Later in her life she was able to communicate by verbalizing what she wanted to say.

Polly Thompson was someone who took over the role of Anne Sullivan once her eyes gave up on her. The trio was known as "the three musketeers." They've done many things together such as make a film entitled Deliverance which was a silence movie about Helen Keller's life.

This video is about three minutes so you can watch the whole thing. This video is a short summarize of Helen Kellers life and those who made a huge impact on her life. Someone who made a huge impact on her life was her teacher and her mentor, Anne Sullivan.


Created with images by City of Boston Archives - "Photograph of a photograph of Helen Keller in 1890, at ten years old" • uppityrib - "Helen Keller 1948"

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